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Tribeca 2005: Best of the Fest

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By Andrea Meyer/IFC News

There were too many movies at the Tribeca Film Festival. In 12 days, it was impossible to scratch the surface of the 250-film program. I did not get to see Most Anticipated Film, Wong Kar-Wai’s “2046,” for example, or a load of others that reliable sources have called worthwhile, such as Sally Potter’s “Yes,” Chilean director Alicia Scherson’s “Play”(the winner of an award for Best New Narrative Filmmaker) and Craig Chester’s “Adam & Steve,” as well as docs “Slippin’–Ten Years with the Bloods,” “After Innocence,” “Czech Dream,” “The Power of Nightmares,” and “How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (and Enjoy It).” Besides Sundance faves like “Mysterious Skin” and higher profile upcoming releases like “Layer Cake,” here’s the best of what I saw at Tribeca:

“Beautiful Country”: Hans Petter Moland directs this lyrical story of a Vietnamese man (Damien Nguyen) who travels to the U.S. to find his American GI father (Nick Nolte). The early segment in Vietnam is a perfect, self-contained unit that weaves the breathtaking details of the country into a portrait of the cruelty inflicted on the children of American soldiers there. The more chaotic, potentially sentimental American portion is also treated with commendable restraint. (In theaters July 8)

“Mad Hot Ballroom”: It’s hard to go wrong with cute kids and a competition. Think “Spellbound” with prepubescents wrapping their arms around each other to dance the merengue, the rumba and the foxtrot. The best kind of feel-good flick, this one had audiences bopping and cheering in their seats. (In theaters May 13)

“The Beat That My Heart Skipped”: In French director Jacques Audiard’s (“Read My Lips”) reworking of James Toback’s thriller “Fingers,” Romain Duris is Tom, a petty crook preparing for an audition to become a concert pianist. Two disparate worlds collide as Tom taps into a passion strong enough to fuel a complete transformation.

“Great New Wonderful”: A disclaimer: I don’t think this movie is one of Tribeca’s best just because my boyfriend shot it. Danny Leiner’s ensemble drama about people surviving in a world made scary and precarious by September 11 is one of Tribeca’s best because it is compassionate, sharp and absolutely riveting, while never taking itself or its subject matter too seriously. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Olympia Dukakis and Tony Shaloub star.

“The F Word”: In 1969, the great cinematographer and sometime filmmaker Haskell Wexler made “Medium Cool, a film that wove fictional and documentary elements together in the story of a fictional film crew covering the real Democratic National Convention. Jeb Weintrob takes on the same task here, with Josh Hamilton as a radio reporter who hits the NYC streets on the day of the 2004 Republican Convention. The film would have been more effective if it had been released on the heels of the convention. It would have felt more relevant if it had at least ridden the political-doc wave that hit just prior to the election. But even now, it packs a punch, especially if you’re a lefty who gets off on basic civil liberties and people willing to fight for them.

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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